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Kalpana Chawla (July 1, 1961 February 1, 2003) was an Indian-American astronaut who, was a mission specialist on the space

e shuttle Columbia. She first flew on the Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. Chawla was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.[1] Chawla completed her earlier schooling at Tagore Public School, Karnal and her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh in 1982. She moved to the United States in 1982 and obtained a M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984. Chawla went on to earn a second M.S. degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Later that year she began working at the NASA Ames Research Center as vice president of Overset Methods, Inc. where she did CFD research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts. Chawla held a Certificated Flight Instructor rating for airplanes, gliders and Commercial Pilot licenses for single and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes and gliders. Chawla joined the NASA 'Astronaut Corps' in March 1995 and was selected for her first flight in 1996. She spoke the following words while traveling in the weightlessness of space, "You are just your intelligence". She had traveled 10.4 million km, as many as 252 times around the Earth. Her first space mission began on November 19, 1997 as part of the six-astronaut crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. Chawla was the first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space, following cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma who flew in 1984 in a spacecraft. On her first mission Chawla traveled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 372 hours in space. During STS-87, she was responsible for deploying the Spartan Satellite which malfunctioned, necessitating a spacewalk by Winston Scott and Takao Doi to capture the satellite. A five-month NASA investigation fully exonerated Chawla by identifying errors in software interfaces and the defined procedures of flight crew and ground control. After the completion of STS-87 post-flight activities, Chawla was assigned to technical positions in the astronaut office to work on the space station, her performance in which was recognized with a special award from her peers. In 2000 she was selected for her second flight as part of the crew of STS-107. This mission was repeatedly delayed due to scheduling conflicts and technical problems such as the July 2002 discovery of cracks in the shuttle engine flow liners. On January 16, 2003, Chawla finally returned to space aboard Columbia on the ill-fated STS-107 mission. Chawla's responsibilities included the microgravity experiments, for which the crew conducted nearly 80 experiments studying earth and space science, advanced technology development, and astronaut health and safety.

Chawla died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster which occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, with the loss of all seven crew members, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107.

Posthumously awarded: Congressional Space Medal of Honor NASA Space Flight Medal NASA Distinguished Service Medal

Rakesh SharmaWing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC, Hero of the Soviet Union, (born January 13, 1949) is a former Indian Air Force test pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 as part of the Intercosmos program. Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space.[1][2] Sharma joined the Indian Air Force and progressed rapidly through the ranks. Sharma, then a Squadron Leader and pilot with the Indian Air Force embarked on a historic mission in 1984 as part of a joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program, and spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut 7 space station. Launched along with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11 on the 3 April 1984, Sharma was 35-year-old. During the flight, Sharma conducted multi-spectral photography of northern India in anticipation of the construction of hydroelectric power stations in the Himalayas. In a famous conversation, he was asked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi how India looked from space, to which he replied, ''Main binaa jhijhak ke keh sakta hoon.., Sare Jahan Se Achcha" (a reference to an iconic poem used in India's freedom struggle, usually referred to as 'Saare jahaan se achha Hindustan hamara,' our land of Hindustan, is the Best in the world'). He was conferred with the honour of Hero of Soviet Union upon his return from space. The Government of India conferred its highest gallantry award (during peace time), the Ashoka Chakra on him and the other two Soviet members of his mission.

Chandrayaan-1 (Sanskrit: -, lit: Moon vehicle[3][4] pronunciation (helpinfo)) was India's first unmanned lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft with a modified version of the PSLV, PSLV C11[2][5] on 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km north of Chennai, at 06:22 IST (00:52 UTC).[6] Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced the project on course in his Independence Day speech on 15 August 2003. The mission was a major boost to India's space program,[7] as India researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the Moon.[8] The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008.[9] On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter at 20:06 and struck the south pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon.[10] The probe impacted near Shackleton Crater at 20:31 ejecting underground soil that could be analysed for the presence of lunar water ice.[11] The estimated cost for the project was 3.86 billion Indian rupees (US$90 million).[12] The remote sensing lunar satellite had a mass of 1,380 kilograms (3,042 lb) at launch and 675 kilograms (1,488 lb) in lunar orbit.[13] It carried high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, and soft and hard X-ray frequencies. Over a two-year period, it was intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest as they might contain ice.[14] The lunar mission carries five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost.[15] After suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding, Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals at 1:30 AM IST on 29 August 2009 shortly after which, the ISRO officially declared the mission over. The main culprit is said to be the failure of onboard DC-DC Converter manufactured by MDI Power U.S.A.[16] The converters failed to meet the radiation specifications for the intended mission time. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95 percent of its planned objectives.[1][17][18][19] Among its many achievements was the discovery of the widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil.[20] Objectives The mission had the following stated scientific objectives:[21]

to design, develop, launch and orbit a spacecraft around the Moon using an Indian-made launchvehicle to conduct scientific experiments using instruments on the spacecraft which would yield data: o for the preparation of a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution of 510 m) of both the near and far sides of the Moon o for chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface at high spatial resolution, mapping particularly the chemical elements magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, titanium, radon, uranium, and thorium o to increase scientific knowledge o to test the impact of a sub-satellite (Moon Impact Probe MIP) on the surface on the Moon as a fore-runner to future soft-landing missions